Daniel Vaughn

Daniel Vaughn is the magazine’s Barbecue Editor.

In a former life, the Dallas-based Vaughn was an architect and a mere barbecue hobbyist, eating, reviewing, and writing about smoked meats for his popular blog, Full Custom Gospel BBQ. Then, in March 2013, hobby turned to profession, as he became the country’s one and only barbecue editor.

His first book, The Prophets of Smoked Meat: A Journey Through Texas Barbecue, was released in May 2013 by Ecco, Anthony Bourdain’s line of books.

Articles by Daniel Vaughn

BBQ
Pecan Lodge (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

The influence of Pecan Lodge on Dallas’s barbecue scene cannot be overstated. At their (relatively) new place in Deep Ellum, they crank out four times the amount they did before. It’s all cooked in an array of unique offset smokers, and the sausages, both the original pork and the jalapeño-cheese…

BBQ
Lockhart Smokehouse (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

It’s all in the family here. Co-founder Jill Grobowsky Bergus’s grandfather was Edgar Schmidt, the man who made Kreuz Market famous. That’s why three of the Lockhart joint’s specialties show up here: two great sausages and the cut known as shoulder clod. If you order actual brisket, you may find…

BBQ
Cattleack Barbeque (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Every ounce of your being recoils at the idea of eating barbecue in an industrial-area strip center in north Dallas. It’s just wrong! How could it have any soul! Calm down. Walk to the end of the line and start inching along (it’s like going through airport security). Pass the…

BBQ
BBQ on the Brazos (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Not quite as scenic as it sounds, BBQ on the Brazos is located inside a Texaco station just off U.S. 377. Barbecue aficionados have already sniffed the joint out, though—the line was deep at nine o’clock on a weekend morning, with bleary-eyed customers ordering everything from brisket-and-egg tacos on handmade…

BBQ
Payne’s Bar-B-Q Shak (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Hugging the edge of Texas Highway 29, Payne’s is a true side-of-the-road joint, a turn-on-your-blinker-half-a-mile-ahead, career-off-the-road-in-a-cloud-of-dust kind of place. Once safely inside, you’ll take comfort in the wood-paneled walls, shiny picnic tables, dainty window coverings, and hospitality of Robert and Penny Payne, retirees turned pitmasters who work out of what…

BBQ
Fargo’s Pit BBQ (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

We foolishly thought pitmaster Alan Caldwell might finally be ready to chat about the secrets of his smoking method. Ha. Caldwell said only, “You can ask . . .” and then broke into a big smile followed by silence. When we arrived, the eight or so tables were all taken,…

BBQ
Vera’s Backyard Bar-B-Que (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

With roots in Mexico, barbacoa became a mainstay on South Texas ranches, where cowboys were hungry and cow heads were plentiful (Texans were expert at nose-to-tail eating long before it became trendy). Today, most commercial barbacoa is steamed or done in pressure cookers to comply with health codes. Vera’s time-honored…

BBQ
Truth Barbeque (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Truth looks too cute to be serving serious barbecue. The carefully curated interior—with its hand-lettered signs, Texas license plates, and Instagram-ready desserts—is a far cry from a no-frills meat market or a rusty roadside pit. The first bite announces the fact that youthful proprietor Leonard Botello IV has been an…

BBQ
Miller’s Smokehouse (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Miller’s roots are decidedly humble. They started selling sausage wraps part-time out of a meat-processing business (with a taxidermy operation in the back). A mere eight years later, after making our Top 50 list, they moved into bigger and better digs. These days they have it all: near-flawless brisket smoked…

BBQ
Valentina’s Tex Mex BBQ (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

At the moveable feast known as Valentina’s—which still occupies a shiny truck but is headed for a brick-and-mortar home later this year—the term “fusion cuisine” has a very Texas twist. The cuisines getting fused are barbecue and tacos. Pitmaster Miguel Vidal’s fifteen-hour mesquite-smoked brisket, lush and moist, is at its…

BBQ
Terry Black’s Barbecue (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Twins Mark and Michael Black jumped into the barbecue business with their father, Terry, three years ago just south of downtown Austin. It didn’t take long for them to get out of the shadow of Lockhart (Terry’s brother, Kent, runs the Black’s in that city as well as two other…

BBQ
Stiles Switch BBQ & Brew (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

You just feel good after a visit here. The super-friendly counter folks might hand you a bit of sausage or brisket to nibble. Plus, the roomy place, with beer signs and communal tables, is fun for families and groups. If you think you’ve had this style of barbecue before—heavy on…

BBQ
Micklethwait Craft Meats (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

With its rounded corners and neatly painted garlands of oak leaves and acorns, Micklethwait’s fat little cream-colored trailer looks like part of a Hobbit community. It sits amid picnic tables on a tree-shaded lot in East Austin and offers superlative victuals, including brisket (embraced by a super-peppery, midnight-dark bark), rosy…

BBQ
la Barbecue (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Owners LeAnn Mueller (yes, of the Louie Mueller clan) and Ali Clem have hunkered down at the Aztec Food Park in their fancy new food trailer. Until they move a block east this month, that’s where you’ll find folks lining up for a slow march to brisket and hot-guts glory.

BBQ
Freedmen’s (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Freedmen’s is no stranger to the pages of Texas Monthly.They made our list of the best new and improved barbecue joints in 2015 under the direction of talented former pitmasters Evan LeRoy and Chris McGhee. Now Bradley Robinson has taken the helm at the historic building. We worried that Freedmen’s…

BBQ
Franklin Barbecue (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Four years ago, Franklin Barbecue was our hands-down pick for best barbecue in the state (i.e., the world). A couple of years later, Aaron Franklin published a best-selling cookbook and won a James Beard award for best chef in the region, a first for a pitmaster. He’s the most famous…

BBQ
Tyler’s Barbeque (Top 50)

Jun 1, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Tyler Frazer is at the heart of the operation, greeting customers and making recommendations—a lot of time and care go into the food and overall experience here. When we arrived, a little before noon, and joined the crowd of locals, it was the thick cuts of brisket that grabbed our…

BBQ
BBQ News: 05/12 – 05/25

May 25, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

– We had a little barbecue joint list come out this week: The 2017 Top 50 BBQ Joint list. – Three new names have been added to the Barbecue Hall of Fame. – The Houston Chronicle had some thoughts about how hard it is to get barbecue…

BBQ
Hot Luck Preview

May 9, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Aaron Franklin’s Hot Luck festival will debut in Austin in a couple weeks. Despite Franklin’s involvement, this isn’t strictly a barbecue festival, but smoked meat fans needn’t worry. There are still plenty of talented pitmasters coming to Austin for the highly anticipated food festival. The Hi Lo and Al…

BBQ
Mapping Texas Barbecue History

Mar 7, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

When it comes to Texas barbecue’s roots, Central Texas meat markets get all the glory. The German and Czech immigrants who built the fires at Kreuz Market in Lockhart, Southside Market in Elgin, and Prause Meat Market in La Grange were indeed barbecue pioneers, but their stories are often elevated because those…

BBQ
BBQ News: 01/20 – 01/26

Jan 26, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

– “I think people that have secrets in cooking, I really think they’re a**holes.” – Pat Martin: – The KCBS is now accepting nominations for their BBQ Hall of Fame through March 1st. – Killen’s Barbecue in Pearland is now open for dinner, and they’re planning…

BBQ
Weighing Your Options

Jan 25, 2017 By Daniel Vaughn

Update: Mark Loeffler, communications director for the Texas Department of Agriculture*, provided more details on their enforcement effort. Operation Maverick was launched in June 2015 to target any business buying or selling goods by weight. He didn’t have current numbers, but by March 2016, they had inspected 1,400 barbecue joints.

BBQ
Gobble, Gobble

Dec 9, 2016 By Daniel Vaughn

Rose Diamond once ruled the world of smoked turkey. In 1938, customers in New York, Miami, and Hollywood enjoyed her smoked turkeys shipped out from her Fort Worth home. According to The Claude News, they brined for at least ten days before being smoked in a brick pit in Diamond’s…